FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — From an outsider’s perspective, it looked like Julian Edelman’s days were numbered in New England. As the 31-year-old entered a contract year, the Patriots traded for 23-year-old Brandin Cooks to bolster their receiving depth chart.

With Cooks in the fold with Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan, the Patriots have gotten younger at the wideout position. After seeing how the situation with Wes Welker unfolded – he left in free agency before turning 32 – it looked like Edelman could follow a similar path.

Instead it looks like this veteran isn’t going anywhere.

According to multiple reports, Edelman and the Patriots have agreed in principle to a multyear contract extension. According to ESPN, it’s a two-year extension that keeps the receiver in New England through the 2019 season.

That’s outstanding news for Tom Brady and the offense. Edelman’s coming off another fantastic season, catching 98 passes for a career-high 1,106 yards and three touchdowns. He also made the catch of his life in the Super Bowl, which helped the Patriots rally to win their fifth championship.

This season, Edelman counts as a $5.75 million cap hit, which makes him the 31st-highest paid receiver in the NFL. This new deal gives the offense even more security. At the moment, Cooks is signed through 2018, Edelman and Hogan through 2019, and Rob Gronkowski and Mitchell through 2020.

And as it stands now, Brady’s contract goes through 2019. Whether he’ll play beyond that is unknown, but it’s clear that he’ll have most of his threats with him for the rest of his contract.

BILLS: Receiver Sammy Watkins began individual drills at practice as he recovers from offseason surgery to repair a broken left foot.

SAINTS: Defensive tackle Nick Fairley is seeing multiple heart specialists after one doctor advised him to stop playing football, Coach Sean Payton said.

LIONS: Detroit signed tackle Tony Hills, adding depth to its offensive line.